The SLOVAK INSTITUTE, a resource center (archives and library) for the study of Slovak culture and literature, was founded 15 Sept. 1952 at ST. ANDREW ABBEY on East Blvd. (now Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr.) in Cleveland. The abbey, however, had long been a center for Slovak material, and a Slovak Museum had been established there about 1945 by the cultural committee of the Slovak League of America. The nucleus of the library was provided by the Matica Slovenska and Spolok sv. Vojtecha delegations when they visited Cleveland in 1935 and 1937, respectively. Each organization contributed several hundred volumes directly from Slovakia, and further donations were received from individuals and organizations over the years.

When the organization was officially established in 1952, its goals were to promote Slovak cultural projects as well as Slovak writers and artists in exile, thus assuming the role the Matica Slovenska and Spolok sv. Vojtechna cultural organizations held in Slovakia. The first director of the Slovak Institute was Dr. Frantisek Hrusovsky, a historian, speaker, and writer; he died in 1956 at the age of 56.

A bimonthly publication, Most (the Bridge), was established in 1955. In 1963 a branch was established in Rome. That same year, the institute sponsored a book fair at Benedictine High School, which was said to be the first public ethnic display of books in Cleveland. By 1968 the organization was said to have the largest collection of Slovak books in the U.S.

Pauco, Joseph. "Twenty Years of the Slovak Institute in Cleveland," in Slovenska (1973).


Article Categories